Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Packers Re-Signed Letroy Guion For Reasons...

UPDATE: The contract only has $500K in guaranteed money, which was probably something Guion had to do because of his past history of arrest and suspension. It still doesn't change the fact that the Packers are counting on him in 2016 because they have few in-house options. But at least if he is a bust next season, then they can move on from him at little cost.

This free agent period has already been a success for the Green Bay Packers because they re-signed DT Mike Daniels back in December. His possible departure was the only move that would make or break them. He has been one of their best draft picks, but overall the Packers have done a terrible job of drafting defensive tackles in recent years.

This seems to be a blind spot for GM Ted Thompson, who got off to a bad start by selecting Justin Harrell in the 1st round of the 2007 draft, and followed that up with some other notably misses; such as Jerel Worthy in 2012 and Khyri Thornton in 2014. His only other success was B.J. Raji, who's had an up-and-down career and might be leaving in free agency this offseason.

That lack of depth at defensive tackle explains why Letroy Guion was one of the few outside free agents they've signed in recent years, and explains why he'd get a three-year, $4 million per season contract.
In a bubble, there's no great reason to re-sign Guion. He was arrested for felony possession this time last year and was suspended for three games. While he wasn't bad in 2015, he wasn't great either, and Walter Football gave this signing a C grade (a lot of money for an OK rotational lineman). But he's a run stuffer, and GM Ted Thompson has placed somewhat of a premium on veteran run stuffers (he paid NT Ryan Pickett a lot of money over his Packer career).

But it also goes to show that the Packers don't have a lot of depth at DT. Mike Pennel has been a pleasant surprise as an undrafted free agent, and Josh Boyd should return from his broken ankle, but that's all they currently have to play alongside Daniels next season. The Packers rotate their defensive lineman a lot and don't always have a defensive tackle on the field, but they do need more players than just those four. Even if B.J. Raji is also re-signed, they'll still probably draft a defensive tackle at some point next April (though it might turn out to be another bust).

So keeping the player you know, who can do what you need him to do, even if the price is a little steep, makes sense. The unfortunate bit is that the Packers haven't done well drafting defensive tackles in the past, which is why they needed him in the first place. And overpaying Guion now might explain why they aren't as aggressive later in free agency.

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